Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Lite Ash Fender Tele not MIK but MII

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Uncle Joe, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    This baby was made in Indonesia. It's got a 2011 serial number. Just unpacked it today. Seems like a fine guitar with a cheap nut. I assumed it would be MIK. Posting this so you know, making Felix Unger only half correct.



  2. backporch guy

    backporch guy Tele-Afflicted

    Looks pretty good to me. How does it play?

  3. WhatDoIKnow

    WhatDoIKnow Tele-Meister

    Oct 3, 2012
    So what's the story on these? Where did you get it?

  4. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    We knew all the other MIK models had been switched to the Cortek plant in Surabaya.

    We wondered if these were still even available.

    Thanks for the tip! :^)

  5. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    I was looking for one and hit upon this ad from Alto Music in Orange County NY. It's about 100 miles or so away from my place in Jersey. $399, free shipping. I figured it was an old MIK stash.

    I haven't set it up yet, but it's not in need of much tweaking. The nut is cheesey but it works for me so far. It seems to be cut just fine. The string spacing feels wide. The board is flat. The pups sound dark but sweet. Like 'em. The fret work is good but not of the superior rolled edge quality found on my new Classic Vibe 50's BSB. I'm not enamored with all the screws on the scratch plate. No big deal though. It's an aesthetic thing.

    Light guitar. I just weighed it. 7.2 lbs. The abalone markers are unusual. So is the headstock graphic.

    It's too new and too clean for me to really weigh in yet. I like it though.


  6. 4telecaster4

    4telecaster4 Tele-Meister

    Oct 26, 2011
    is it a two piece or three piece?

  7. zooropamofo

    zooropamofo Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2006
    Long Valley-Birches
    I used to have one of the MIK models. I remember it exactly as you describe. Junk nut, weird logo, funky Birdseye neck, dark, glassy, liquid sounding pups (I really enjoyed the sound of those Duncan's). The Lite Ash is a cool Tele in its own right. Like a funky original girlfriend from college!

  8. David K. Adams

    David K. Adams TDPRI Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    Sun City, Az.
    Wow!, Thats a keeper if you ask me! I have a couple of Indonesion Strats, made by CORT, from Korea, they are the best quality that I have seen in a long time. Congrats, nice Tele! ........poppa

  9. stax

    stax Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2006
    Brentwood U.K.
    I picked this up the weekend on Gumtree UK.
    What I did find interesting was what at first seemed to be a two piece body on close inspection of the end grain was three, the top and middle is the same piece of wood but it looks like a 1/4 inch has been sawn through it, I assume to take out some imperfection??
    The body weighs 5.2 pounds so not exactly Lite.
    Now on the look out for neck, tuners and pickups.

    Attached Files:

  10. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    It appears to be two piece to me. I could be wrong but I can only detect one seam. I'm very surprised at how light it is. I suppose Lite really does mean light in this case. I thought it would be an anchor.

    What I like so far, besides the "liquid" pups (great description by Zooro), is the unfinished neck. It's a skunk stripe job that is nicely dressed. I read somewhere that there was some suspect quality, hit or miss, on the MIK versions of this guitar (which I thought I had ordered) but there is no issue here. Nice neck. Maybe they know what they're doing in Indonesia. So far, I like it.

  11. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    Thanks. I'm looking forward to playing it more.

    Years ago, perhaps 2004, I picked up a Korean made PRS SE Soapbar II as a GC scratch and dent. It's a beautifully crafted guitar. Being a Tele guy I loved the simplicity. Perfectly good guitar, great value, and the only guitar I own with P-90s. From that day forward I was looking for a Korean made Fender.

    Never found one for me.

    I played a bunch of the MIK Strats or "Super-Strats" that were on the market and in the stores, but they didn't feel right for me. The MIK Teles that I found didn't click either. Too much cash and I didn't love the guitar. At about that time I purchased an MIM Classic 60's Player Strat in Sonic Blue. Still play it.

    When I found the ad for this Lite Ash Tele for $399 it seemed like the going price for a used one so I went for it. I figured if it didn't feel right, like the ones that I had played years before, I would just flip it for a fifty dollar loss. Then I opened the box and learned it was made in Indonesia.

    I feel a bit like the victim of bait and switch, although only a subtle effort was made by the retailer shamelessly advertising a greater than 50% discount from the previous price. Initially, upon receiving the guitar, I was a bit dismayed that it was Indonesian. As it turns out, perhaps the MII Lite Ash Tele will garner a better reputation for quality control than her MIK predecessor. We'll see.

    My opinion today is that my Made in Indonesia Lite Ash Tele is worth exactly what I paid for it, albeit with poor resale value. If it said MIK on the back, same exact guitar, I would value it higher simply due to my current perception that Korean made guitars are of generally higher quality than Indonesian made guitars. Perception is not always reality. This seems to be a guitar that I may enjoy for years to come.

    Time will tell if this guitar is embraced by this community or not.

  12. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    Those thick beveled pickguards drive me up a wall (on whatever Fender guitar they show up on). Look soooo cheap/cheesy on what is otherwise a very cool guitar.

    Wonder if there's any appreciable diff between this one and an MIK ?

  13. spankdplank

    spankdplank Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 19, 2007
    Houston, Tx.
    Does the body have the "flat spot" at the jack cup? The photos look like no flat spot. Not that the flat spot has any effect on anything, I'm just curious. Nice looking guitar, BTW.

  14. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    Thanks. It's funny you mention the flat spot. It's semi-flat, certainly not rounded, but not as pronounced of a flat spot as I've seen on other bodies.

  15. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    I would imagine the perceived value is in the MIK version. It was for me. This MII is nicer than the previous-version MIKs that I've tried out in stores though, so for me the actual value is counter-intuitive. This one seems lighter in weight and with better fit and finish on the neck.

    If I were to change anything, at first blush, it would be the nut and the scratch plate. Does anyone know if there's a five hole pickguard that will work with this guitar (or perhaps the MIK version), fitting around the heel? I understand that I would need to drill holes.

    The nut is too difficult for me to get correct, especially since the cheapo plastic nut (with shavings hanging off) seems to be cut perfectly and working just fine. Around $100 and cost of materials and perhaps I'd have a bonesque nut cut and also get a setup. Mark Simon in Bedminster NJ is a great guy and superior luthier, BTW.

  16. jtees4

    jtees4 Tele-Holic

    Jun 13, 2010
    selden, ny
    Nice! I did'nt know the model was still made.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

  17. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    The ad now reads "Made in Indonesia" at the bottom. Either I had a scotoma, or it wasn't there before.

  18. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    Night four playing this baby and I'm now working on the fret-ends. I'm bringing a triangular file to my buddy tomorrow so he can grind off the sharp edges. I opened the thing up today and the electronics are cheese. Kind'a funny being that the pickups are so nice. The electronics work fine, but the fret ends are certainly a concern that need to be addressed for me to be completely satisfied with this guitar. I'm being picky here, but I think a little attention to the frets will really make this baby on par with my CIJ 62/65, MIM Cabronita and CV 50's BSB. This Lite Ash lags on the fret dressing. Okay. Not great. Yet.

    I hate to open this can of worms because if I get the frets right then the nut will be next.

  19. HOBBSTER01

    HOBBSTER01 Friend of Leo's

    Nov 23, 2007
    Ringgold, Ga.
    that's a heck of a buy at that price.

  20. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

    Aug 5, 2012
    New Jersey
    "Say cheese!"


    Still a nice guitar. Just sharing.

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